Calculate your appliance energy usage

Do you want a car that gets 10 miles per gallon of gasoline or one that gets 49 miles per gallon? Easy enough. But how do you figure out how much it costs you in electricity to run your computer? Your dishwasher? Your clothes dryer?

There is a simple formula: wattage x hours used a day x days used a year ÷ 1,000 = kilowatt-hour (kWh) used a year. Example: a personal computer uses 120 watts (you will find this stamped somewhere on any appliance) + monitor uses 150 watts x 4 hours a day x 365 days a year ÷ 1,000 = 394 kWh/year.

What does this cost you? Assume the price of one kWh is $0.104. 394 kWh x $0.104 = $40.98 a year to run your computer and monitor.

But, did you know the U.S. Department of Energy launched Energy Savers in 1998? Go to their web page at and get useful tips to help save energy and money. You can also download a 36-page Energy Savers booklet (in English or Spanish).

And, did you know that a clothes washer uses only 350 to 500 watts, but a clothes dryer uses about 800 to 5,000 watts? Where is that clothesline!?

Anita Kazarian is a resident of University Heights and enjoys being an active citizen.

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Volume 2, Issue 1, Posted 10:55 AM, 12.15.2008